The COVID-19 pandemic has hit tourism hard, and many countries expect tourists all around the world to come as soon as possible.
Thailand is talking with China about a quarantine-free travel corridor by January to rescue its ailing tourism industry, the Bloomberg reported.
Thailand Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said Thailand will reopen to foreign tourists in October with limitation.
In the absence of COVID-19 re-outbreak, Chinese tourists will not have to undergo mandatory quarantine and can use coronavirus testing and a mobile tracking application instead.
According to Thailand’s long-term tourist visa program, the first batch of Chinese tourists will arrive in Bangkok on October 20.
Thailand plans to issue 1,200 visas a month to help ease foreign tourists’ loss over the past five months as tourism is severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the report said.
About 11 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand in 2019, bringing in about 17 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, according to official figures.
“Thais don’t have enough money to boost the industry, so either way we have to find a way to bring in foreign tourists,” Phiphat said.
“If we don’t receive any foreign tourists, our economy will suffer a heavy contraction.”